Alright guys, so while working in training mode the other day, i came up with some potentially useful tech that can apply to a lot of characters, but only seems to have much potential for a couple. As I’m sure most of you know a Kara Grab is the idea of canceling the animation of a move or normal that moves your character forward into a throw or command grab to increase it’s potential range and use in various strings. It’s not a techinque that I’ve seen utilized in KoFXIII yet, nor have I seen any discussion about it in the forums. So I thought I would bring it up and see how other players feel about it’s potential.
Keep in mind that I’ve been playing fighters for a long time, but I freely admit I am not a terribly creative player. I tend to learn from others techniques and technology and then try to apply those things to my own game, rather than being a player who comes up with a lot of creative ideas or tools to try out. So if someone has already tested or tried to utilize this and has discussed with with the community I will not at all be surprised.
So, basically how I came across the idea of trying a Kara grab is that I was practicing with Shen who is my anchor on my main team. I was working on trying to implement some of his normals I don’t often use into my game to try and expand my options. Yesterday I was working on seeing how I might utilize his stand CD for block strings, hop checks, etc. and while using it I had a bit of an idea. I remember that a lot of characters can wiff cancel their CD attacks, and Shen’s is a shoulder rush that moves him forward, so I thought to myself, “Would it be possible to Kara cancel Shen’s command grabs out of his stand CD”.
The answer turns out to be a resounding yes, and from my early testing it seems like it could be a pretty useful tool to add to your arsenal if you play Shen. To Kara cancel into his command grab you need to quickly execute the motion after doing a stand CD. I have personally found it’s actually easier for me to do a 360 motion to get the Kara cancel to come out. So the technique in fact works, but does that mean it’s useful? Obviously in KoF you have the luxury of using dash buffering to hit command grabs, which can often make a tool like this obsolete, so I decided to see what kind of strings could potentially utilize this idea.
So far I’ve found a great string with Shen to practice this Kara grab is to simply do:
cr.B, cr.B CD xx command grab.
This string sets up a few neat things. If you get them to flinch as they see you wind up into the CD animation, they are going to eat the grab. It sets up the perfect range for it to connect with the Kara cancel. A nice bonus is if you should miss the kara cancel, you still get stand CD which works well as a hop check at this distance, and keeps Shen at worst even on frame advantage if it ends up blocked.
The other side of the coin being that, there are ways to beat this if the opponent knows it’s coming. Hopping back or backdashing if they aren’t cornered, or throwing out any kind of a good reversal should blow this up pretty easily since there is an obvious gap in the string. But if they throw out any kind of normal or basic poke there is a good chance you will get even more throw range by nabbing their hitbox if they extend out during the attack. Also keep in mind you can kara cancel into Shen’s Ex grab which has invulnerability on it to make this technique even more effective.
I’m sure Shen has more strings that can utilize this ability, but i’ll need to do some further testing. Obviously after discovering this I decided to test it out with the rest of the cast who have command grabs to see if anyone else could benefit. Unfortunately I only found one other character who seemd to get alot out of it: Athena.
I don’t play Athena at all so I’m not sure how practical it is to set up or even attempt, but her CD slides her forward and offers up a very very easy cancel into her command throw. That being said I rarely see Athena’s use stand CD, so I’m not really sure how much she can benefit from using it, but hopefully someone who plays her as a main can give me some insight on it’s worth.
The rest of the cast either lacks a CD that moves them forward, doesn’t have a way to cancel their CD into the grab, or the hit range on their CD outranges their command grab and thus makes it impossible to get the cancel to work at a range where the grab will reach. The one other character I got this to work with was Vice, however because her CD extends so insanely far, you have to have almost pixel perfect spacing and an extremely tight cancel (i think it may be a just frame) to make the Kara work. Vice mains may want to experiment with this more and see if they can take it further, but i had almost no luck with it, where as Shen’s and Athena’s were both very easy to at least execute.
So, I’m curious what the community thinks? This isn’t a game changing technique, but it’s certainly another tool to help crack open an oppenents defense, and with a characer like Shen who can easily get 40% off a command grab if he wants to burn some drive and meter, having extended range and tick throw options is never a bad idea. Let me know what you guys think, and if this has already been discussed or gone over, then my apologies, but i didn’t find it anywhere after searching the forums.